To the surprise of legal scholars nowhere, Loudoun circuit judge Thomas D. Horne this morning denied the petition by Very Strange Loudoun Republican Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), who was seeking a court order to prevent his fellow members of the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors from voting tonight on a possible punishment of Delgaudio for his multiple ethical violations.
It was not exactly one of those feats of legal reasoning that will awe generations to come at Harvard Law School: as noted yesterday, not only did Delgaudio fail to meet any of the requirements that apply whenever a court issues a temporary injunction in advance of trying a case on its merits, but Judge Horne was able to follow a rock-solid 1998 precedent involving an identically wacko, identically Republican, identically Loudoun member of the Board of Supervisors who tried to get a court to intervene in a nearly identical case involving the Board punishing him for ethical misconduct. In that case, the Federal court of appeals held that disciplining a member of a legislative body is a “core legislative act” over which courts have no power whatsoever to intrude.
The all-GOP Board has for more than a year been hoping to sweep the Delgaudio matter under the rug. In January when they removed Delgaudio from his committee assignments they did not even debate the matter, did not suggest in any official statements that the reason was Delgaudio’s ethical violations, or for that matter even announce that Delgaudio had been removed from his committee assignments: the Board just magically voted unanimously without discussion or explanation to approve Chairman Scott York (R)’s new list of assignments; you had to look at the list to realize that Delgaudio had vanished from it.
The very enjoyable irony in all of these latest developments is that the sole obstacle to sweeping Delgaudio under the rug has been Delgaudio himself. His frivolous lawsuit is surely just the beginning of what we can only hope will be an ongoing spectacle that will keep him and the Board’s larger ethical problems in the spotlight for months to come. Delgaudio’s 15-year-old lawyer, Charlie King, in court this morning hinted he was prepared to bring forth evidence that other GOP supervisors had also accepted illegal cash campaign contributions. Hell hath no fury like a wacko Loudoun Republican supervisor scorned!